The Challenge: find something rusty. I found this rusty gate (and rusty smeared retaining wall) at the Lavaux vineyards on my Saturday bike ride. Little did I know it would serve as a metaphor for my bike riding abilities.
I've seen enough tourism promotions on cycling in Lavaux to think it was a good idea. But I forgot the Swiss are crazy. I didn't realize how ridiculously steep these hills were. It took over an hour and half to get there, navigating the heavy foot and car traffic of a running event through Lausanne. I rode in on the main lower road in the photo above.
By the time I got there, I had little patience for wanting to climb any hill, let alone these steep mo-fo's. Sigh. There was a time when I didn't consider anything under 6% grade a real ride.
I started the vinorama further down on the south side, in St. Saphorin. Naturally the village had some wine tasting happening on its steep cobbled streets so I had to hoof it through the village to the nearest vineyard path. There wasn't asingle bike rider on the paths. Now I know why. They're almost un-rideable. Or maybe I'm just terribly unfit.
I realized on the climb I rode the wrong bike. This was meant for my triple-ring road bike or my mountain bike. The cross bike I was on didn't have enough gears. Or maybe I was just terribly unfit.
So I decided my strategy would be to ride the terraces as switchbacks rather than take the steepest roads up. Because surely those steep sections aren't made for cyclists. But maybe I'm just terribly unfit.
Because I started the ride late in the day, I only rode up a third of the way and I didn't have time to go further. Or maybe it was because I'm just terribly unfit.
So I headed home after riding only one of the terraces. Only now I was on the top of the steepest end of the Vinorama above Rivaz. And as I descended, I realized without a doubt I had brought the wrong bike. Cross bikes are not made for stopping. They are literally made to keep rolling. And I was surely descending some of the steepest hills I've ever seen. So I got off and hoofed it. Surely this was not made to descend on a cross bike. Or maybe I'm just terribly... oh wait that doesn't work.
I rode home and fantasized about planning other, easier routes to get to the very top of the vinorama. If the fact that I fantasized about easier routes didn't confirm it, nothing will. I'm terribly unfit.
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